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A Lesson In Optimism From Taylor Swift.

I am now in the third decade of my life insurance career. Considering all the years I spent growing up in my father’s brokerage, the sale of life insurance has been the focal point of most of my life. Needless to say, I have had to make a few adjustments in my approach to this business over time.

The success experts of both today and yesteryear stress the need for mentors. We must learn from people who can help us transition into the next stage of our lives. These guides could be from our own industry, or from another. They could be from our own generation, or one older or younger. Many people have wisdom.

I think Taylor Swift is a modern-day sage of sorts. In her recent essay in the Wall Street Journal, the famous singer and songwriter shares her perspective on the growth of the music industry. For me, her pointers are very instructive as I build my business on the Internet. Here are some highlights, preceeded by a comment on how I can apply her insight to my own practice:

We should treat every client as if he or she is “the one!”

… some artists will be like finding “the one.” We will cherish every album they put out until they retire and we will play their music for our children and grandchildren. As an artist, this is the dream bond we hope to establish with our fans. I think the future still holds the possibility for this kind of bond, the one my father has with the Beach Boys and the one my mother has with Carly Simon.

Life insurance should have some dazzle!

In the YouTube generation we live in, I walked out onstage every night of my stadium tour last year knowing almost every fan had already seen the show online. To continue to show them something they had never seen before, I brought out dozens of special guest performers to sing their hits with me. My generation was raised being able to flip channels if we got bored, and we read the last page of the book when we got impatient. We want to be caught off guard, delighted, left in awe. I hope the next generation’s artists will continue to think of inventive ways of keeping their audiences on their toes, as challenging as that might be.

Our clients are our fans. We knew this all the time!

A friend of mine, who is an actress, told me that when the casting for her recent movie came down to two actresses, the casting director chose the actress with more Twitter followers. I see this becoming a trend in the music industry. For me, this dates back to 2005 when I walked into my first record-label meetings, explaining to them that I had been communicating directly with my fans on this new site called Myspace. In the future, artists will get record deals because they have fans—not the other way around.

What about you? Can you learn anything from Taylor about your life and your business?